Tanacetum vulgare. N.O. Compositae.
Habitat ► This common English wild plant was formerly cultivated in gardens, but is now rarely seen away from the borders of fields and waysides.
Features ► The tough, slightly ribbed stems reach a height of two or three feet, terminating in the peculiar bunch of yellow, flat, button-like flowers by which the plant may be easily recognised in July and August; the flowers look, indeed, as if all the petals had been pulled off, leaving only the central florets. Leaf stalks grow on alternate sides of the stem, the leaves themselves being six to eight inches long by about four inches broad, deeply cut pinnately. The crushed leaves and flowers give a pronounced aromatic smell, and have a bitter taste.
Tansy herb is probably the best of all the media for getting rid of worms in children, and a dose according to age should be given night and morning fasting. The infusion of 1 ounce to 1 pint of boiling water is used.
The medicine is also esteemed in some quarters for the treatment of hysteria and certain other of the nervous disorders of women. For this purpose a wineglassful of the infusion should be taken frequently.
The old-time herbalists used Tansy as a stimulating tonic for a poor digestive apparatus, but to-day herbal compounds of greater efficacy are prescribed for dyspepsia.
Linaria vulgaris. N.O. Scrophulariaceae.
Synonym ► Butter and Eggs, Flaxweed, Pennywort. The name “Toad Flax” because of a supposed similarity between the mouth of the flower and that of the toad.
Habitat ► Hedgerows and cornfields.
Features ► Stem one to two feet higli, upright, only slightly branched. Leaves numerous, grass-like, tapering to a point. Stem and leaves are smooth, with a pale bluish hue. Flowers shaped like the snapdragon (antirrhinum), pale yellow, mouth closed by projecting orange-coloured lower lip ; clustered together at top of stem.
Part used ► Herb.
Action ► Hepatic, alterative, astringent, detergent.
To some extent in prescriptions for jaundice, hepatic torpor and skin diseases. Is also sometimes included in pile ointments. The 1 ounce to 1 pint infusion is taken in doses of 2 fl. ounces.